"Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines," calls out the announcer as Mayflower Mill students jump with excitement as the inaugural Kindy 500 is about to begin.
Weeks leading up to race day, kindergarten students read books and researched the history of the Indianapolis 500. The students chose their team names, colors, car numbers and painted the cardboard racing machines. "The kids learned teamwork and compromise when making team decisions," says teacher SunShine Waber. "The students used writing and reading skills to research and decorate their cars. They learned about an Indianapolis tradition that some may never get to attend. They used their gross motor skills during practice and the race."
Spectators gathered at the McCutcheon soccer field to see greatest spectacle in elementary racing. After playing the traditional song "Back Home Again in Indiana," teams gathered at their assigned pits. When the green flag waves, the races begin -- three heats leading up to the championship round. After several exciting laps, a team called DSM - Da Sound Machine, crossed the finishing line first with the checkered flag waving. In Victory Lane, students received a trophy, carton of milk and kissed the bricks.
"I was so happy with how the event turned out," says Waber. "It made my heart full to see the kids having fun and the whole school as well. We had a great parent and visitor turnout. I even had all of my Kids Hope volunteers come to see the students who they work with each week in the race."